Technology and Innovation

Have you ever heard about Startup Weekend ?

Startup Weekend
Written by Caroline Laherre

I. What is a Startup Weekend ?

Startup Weekend is a 54 hours event created by Techstars and powered by Google for Startups. The idea is to gather at the same place people from different backgrounds and different skills. All those people put together are aimed to build teams, and then to develop a start-up by presenting an MVP at the end of the 54 hours. To do so, mentors, investors, and sponsors are also there to help participants to build the strongest project, to have an opportunity to launch the start-up in real life.

Startup Weekends are getting more and more popular and well-known in the entrepreneurship community. In fact, if we look at the numbers shared by Techstars, there were more than 23 thousand teams formed, in more than 150 countries, for a total of more than 2,9 thousand of events organised.


Want to participate to the Startup Weekend Europe Paris Edition ? Click here


II. How is composed this kind of weekend ?

A Startup Weekend is 54 hours long. It starts on a Friday night, to finish on the Saturday evening. The format is quite the same during all Startup Weekends, and has been thought and put in action with one and only goal : to give the participants everything in hand to develop the best start-up they could make.

First Day :

On Friday evening, all participants (professionals and students from all areas) are meeting all together. The idea is to meet everyone to start to get to know each other, and feel the energy of the event. People who have ideas of start-ups will pitch during 60 seconds what they have in mind to convince people that they have a strong project. Then the projects which are liked the most will be selected, and then, people will gather in teams which they will keep all weekend long (and maybe even more if the project and the team is going well !). After choosing their teams, people are invited to start working on their projects. The idea is to define as clear as possible what they are going to present as a start-up project.

Second Day :

The Saturday is essential, in fact, it is the only full day dedicated to the projects developed by the teams. To help them, mentors will be there to guide the teams and coach them depending on the problematics teams are facing. Sometimes, there are also quick master classes which are organised based on the theme of the weekend. People have then the possibility to be part of them to be guided threw their project building. Because the time is very limited, teams have to manage well their time, the pressure. That is the reason why, it is essential to create a real team spirit to work as a proper strong team although the teams are very recent. In fact, building those project is not only about the project itself but also about the cohesion of the teams.

Third Day :

After hours of work building your MVP, it is time for you to finalize your project and to prepare your pitch in front of the jury. In fact, each team will have 5 minutes to pitch what they have created during the weekend. After all pitches, the jury will decide which project is selected to win the prizes. However, not being the winners does not mean that your journey is over. A Startup Weekend is only the beginning !

After the jury’s decision, it will  be time to celebrate those hours of hard work. Mentors, jury, organisers, and participants will all be gathered for the last drink all together. It will be a great opportunity to continue to meet people from other teams as well as the mentors and jury members.


Want to participate to the Startup Weekend Europe Paris Edition ? Click here


III. You want to be part of such an event ?

To participate to a Startup Weekend, it is very easy ! You will have access to all the different weekends organised all around the world on Start-Up Weekend official website.

And we have a very good news ! 5 students of the Digital Strategy master of GEM are organising the Startup Weekend Europe Paris Edition at the end of March. You are interested in entrepreneurship ? You want to be part of an amazing adventure ? Go check our event right here !


IV. Another point of view of a Start-Up Weekend

Being part of a Startup Weekend is not only by being a participants. In fact, if the idea of a Startup Weekend attracts you but you do not feel ready to be part of one yet, there is another solution. Startup Weekends’ organizers are usually searching for volunteers to help them during the event. In that case, you would not be part of the creation of a start-up, however it will give you access to the ambiance of it. It would also give you the opportunity to meet people who have the same interest of entrepreneurship as you, and who knows, maybe one day you will meet them again during another Startup Weekend or in the business world.


For more information on our upcoming event, the Startup Weekend Europe Paris Edition, go check us out on our Facebook page, our Instagram account and on our Eventdrive Page.

About the author


Caroline Laherre